Hosea 8:1-7

Hosea 8:1 (KJB)

Set the trumpet to thy mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law.


The trumpet was used as a call to arms which was also a warning to the people of impending danger.  The trumpet was now sounding because the Assyrians are likened to an eagle who is a bird of prey.  The eagle is swift and takes its prey high in the air and then drops it to the ground killing it.  The house of the LORD was in Jerusalem which was where the temple was located.  In this verse it would not be referring to Jerusalem because the Babylonians took Jerusalem and sacked the temple.  The reference here is to the ten tribes as Israel being the house of the LORD.  The reason given why the eagle of judgment will fall upon them is because they have transgressed the covenant which God had with them at Sinai that they would do all that the LORD commanded them and they failed.  Then they were guilty of trespassing the law by taking other gods and turning to false religions.  The law and the covenant are synonymous, so what the LORD is telling them that they transgressed and trespassed both law and covenant.  Psalm 78:10 (KJV) They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law; 


Hosea 8:2 (KJB)

Israel shall cry unto me, My God, we know thee.


Israel had cried unto the LORD claiming that they know him since the LORD was also included in their syncretistic worship.  Syncretism was the amalgamation or combining of different religions, cultures, or thought.  They would be astonished that God would judge them since he was part of the worship of Israel but they had forgotten the first commandment.  Exodus 20:3 (KJV)   Thou shalt have no other gods before me.  It is going to be like those unsaved at the Judgment seat of Christ who claimed that they knew him and they will plead right at the Judgment seat that they should be let into heaven.  Matthew 7:22 (KJV) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  Just because someone belongs to a church does not mean they are saved and ready for heaven.  To truly know God means you are to have no other gods.


Hosea 8:3 (KJB)

Israel hath cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him.


Israel had forsaken that which was good which means they forsook the covenant and the law of God.  While they held to those two, they would be under God’s protection but once they broke them and walked away from them, they would no longer have the protection of God as a nation.  This means that the Assyrians would now pursue them and overtake them by taking them into captivity and they would never see their homeland again.


Hosea 8:4 (KJB)

They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off.


The northern kingdom of Israel had lasted for 253 years and in all that time they had 18 kings reigning over them and not once did they consult the LORD as to who should reign over them.  There was not one saved king in the northern kingdom.  Then they set up the subordinate rulers such as princes, governors, civil magistrates and they were also in line with the corruption of the other leaders.  The LORD is not saying that he did not know about these lesser rulers but that he did not approve of them so he did not agree with their decisions so God states he knew not about their decisions because they did not get his approval for them either.  Not only did they choose unsaved rulers but these rulers had allowed the building of idols of gold and silver which was forbidden by the LORD.  Those idols did nothing to stop the onslaught of the Assyrians and those idols were cut down along with people.  Psalm 135:15-18 (KJV) The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.  {16} They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not;  {17} They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths.  {18} They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them.  As the idols were cut down, so were the people.


Hosea 8:5 (KJB)

Thy calf, O Samaria, hath cast thee off; mine anger is kindled against them: how long will it be ere they attain to innocency?


The calf would represent the entire system of false religions that Israel was adhering to.  When Israel came out of Egypt, they fashioned a golden calf which was the image of the Bull god Apis of the Egyptians.  It was this calf that God caused many to be swallowed up by the earth.  In other words, those who followed the calf were judged swiftly. Jeroboam had also set up two calves, one at Beth-el and the other at Dan.  These calves had caused evil to permeate Israel and as a result they were cast off as the calves were because the anger of the LORD was kindled against them.  The question is then posed, how long will it be before they attain innocency?  This has to do with becoming cleansed.  Only those who are spiritually cleansed in Christ are innocent before the LORD, that is, those who become saved by the blood of Christ.  When will Israel come to be cleansed and stand righteously before the LORD?  The ten tribes would never stand clean before the LORD because they were judged and taken into captivity.  The only Israel that stands clean before the LORD, is the true Israel of God which is the body of believers.  Romans 2:28-29 (KJV) For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:  {29} But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.  Philippians 3:3 (KJV) For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.


Hosea 8:6 (KJB)

For from Israel was it also: the workman made it; therefore it is not God: but the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces.


The workmen of Israel had fashioned the calf of Samaria.  They not only fashioned it but they also worshipped the calf and created their own rituals to go along with the false religion.  Since it was based upon a contrived false religion it had nothing whatsoever to do with God since these calves were evidence that Israel had departed from the truth.  The fact that the calf would be broken into pieces reveals that they have absolutely no power whatsoever to prevent them being broken into a thousand pieces.  This destruction will remain a constant witness to their idolatry.


Hosea 8:7 (KJB)

For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.


To sow the wind is a saying which means that all the labor involved in their created calf religion and all the rituals they set up will yield absolutely nothing good for them.  It is like a farmer who plants seeds which are bad and as a result, there is no crop because he had sown to the wind.  The seeds are no good and as a result there is no stalk and no bud.  The plants are all bad and are worthless for human consumption and therefore will not sell.  Since they have sown to the wind with all their idolatry, they will now reap the whirlwind.  One of the synonyms for “whirlwind” is “tornado.”  What is in view here is that the Assyrians are going to come upon them as a tornado and a tornado creates quick destruction.  They are referred to as strangers swallowing them up.